In old-Croatian, this earliest geographical term appeared at least from 10th century within the Glagolitic inscriptions in Chakavian dialect, e.g. in Baška tablet about 1105, and also in some subsequent Glagolitic texts as krayna (pronouncing 'kraüna') in the original medieval meaning of inlands or mainlands. In this similar meaning it is inherited now by the native Chakavian elders of northern Dalmatian islands and Kvarner archipelago, where also the related krayane means 'inlanders'.
Then since the Turkish incursions followed by the prevailing of Shtokavian dialect, old krajina gradually shifted to its recent meaning of a county or surroundings of a certain town. In the modern Croatian of mainlands, it mostly refers to the area around certain small cities. The term is almost applied to Zagora and areas neighbouring Zagora to the west.
In some South Slavic languages especially in Serbian, the word krajina refers primarily to border or borderland of a country, with established military defense, and secondarily to a region, area, or landscape; but in medieval Croatian of Glagolitic texts the last is its primary earlier meaning and military role appeared since Turks. The word kraj can mean end or extremity, or region or area. Archaically extrapolated, it could mean "army" or "war" in Serbian, but a "mainland" or "continent" in early Glagolitic Croatian. The Serbian term is equal to German Mark and French marche, but the old-Croatian Glagolitic is subequal to the Romance Terrafirma as opposed to coast or islands.
In other Slavic languages (including Chakavian and Kajkavian dialects of the Croatian language), the term has other meanings, either territorial name (cf. Krajna in Poland) or word with meaning "a land, landscape" (e.g. in Slovak, Czech or Sorbian).
Read more about this topic: Krajina
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